Strengthening Popular Participation in the African Union: A guide to AU structures and processes

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The African Union (AU) has committed to a vision of Africa that is ‘integrated, prosperous and peaceful … driven by its own citizens, a dynamic force in the global arena’. This guide is an effort to take up the challenge of achieving this vision. It is a tool to assist activists to engage with AU policies and programmes. It describes the AU decision-making process and outlines the roles and responsibilities of the AU institutions. It also contains a sampling of the experiences of those non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have interacted with the AU.
  STRENGTHENING POPULAR PARTICIPATION IN THE AFRICAN UNION A Guide to AU Structures and Processes AfriMAP An Open Society Institute Network Publication  In memory of  Tajudeen Abdul Raheem Pan-Africanist 1956–2009 First published in 2009 by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa and Oxfam GB.Copyright © 2009 Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and Oxfam GBISBN 978-1-920355-24-1All rights reserved. Redistribution of the material presented in this work is encouraged, provided that the srcinal text is not altered, that the srcinal source is properly and fully acknowledged and that the objective of the redistribution is not for commercial gain. Please contact if you wish to reproduce, redistribute or transmit, in any form or by any means, this work or any portion thereof.Produced by COMPRESS.dsl  iii Contents Acknowledgements vAcronyms vi INTRODUCTION: THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE 1PART 1 AU ORGANS & INSTITUTIONS 3  > Assembly of Heads of State and Government 6 > Chairperson of the African Union 8 > Executive Council of Ministers 10 > Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) 12 > Commission of the African Union 14 > Peace and Security Council (PSC) 18 > Pan-African Parliament (PAP) 21 > African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) 22 > African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 24 > African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (to become the African Court of Justice and Human Rights) 25 > Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) 27 > New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) 29 > African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) 31 > Specialised Technical Committees (STCs) 33  iv  > Financial Institutions 34 > Funding of the African Union 35 > Regional Economic Communities (RECs) 36 PART 2 INFLUENCING AU DECISIONS & POLICIES 37  > The AU decision-making process 39 > Civil society engagement with the AU Organs 41 > NGO observer status with the AU 43 > Accessing information 44 > Influencing national-level decisions on AU proposals 46  > Civil law (francophone and lusophone) countries 46 > Common law (anglophone / Commonwealth) countries 47  > AU Summits 48  > Official pre-summit meetings for civil society organisations 49 > Accreditation to summits 50 > Communicating with delegations 51 > Media facilities at summits 52 PART 3 THE UNION GOVERNMENT DEBATE   55APPENDICES   61   > Appendix 1: AU Regions 62 > Appendix 2: Regional Economic Communities recognised by the African Union 64 > Appendix 3: Useful websites and contacts  66
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